Tuesday, 29 January 2013

SOLAR support for the new awards

Me and Caroline met with Graeme Clark, of the SOLAR team, this afternoon to discuss how SOLAR can support the new HN awards. The HN awards in my area have had a lot of support from SOLAR during the last few years, and the service is growing in popularity in centres.

Graeme is keen to support the new HN qualifications, and we agreed that most of the assessment exemplars that have been, or will be, developed would be "solarised" i.e. converted to online assessments. The new HNs are the best supported development that I have ever undertaken, with a total of 38 units supported with assessment exemplars (of which 22 are currently available). SOLAR can only assess knowledge and understanding (not practical skills) so not all of these packs can be converted -- but Graeme hopes to convert most of them.

It's great to have this support from SOLAR, which means that centres will be able to use traditional (paper) assessment exemplars or online assessments for many of the units in the new HN awards.

Contact your SQA Co-ordinator if you want access to the assessment exemplars that have been developed (these are available via SQA Secure) or contact Caroline if you want to know what additional packs are coming in the future or contact SOLAR if you want to know more about what's available online now and in the future.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Meeting of the Qualification Leaders

The Qualification Leaders (QLs) for each HND award met yesterday afternoon. The purpose of the meeting was to review the report from the validation event and to decide who does what when.

It was a productive meeting. We divided the work between the team. There were a significant number of validation conditions and recommendations to discuss, and although most of the conditions and recommendations will be relatively simple to address, there are one or two that will take a little time. We plan to meet on a couple of Saturdays in the next few weeks to deal with the more complex conditions.

I aim to have all of the conditions and recommendations dealt with by the end of March, so that we can focus on launching the new awards in plenty of time prior to their widespread deployment in August. I am hoping that the launch event will take place around May or June.

But you don't need to wait until then before preparing to introduce the new awards. The frameworks will not change much (if at all) and most of the unit specifications are already validated and available on the SQA website.

Contact Caroline if you want to see the current arrangements or simply find out more about the new awards.